Friday, April 5, 2013

Tips for Newlyweds www.advancetaxrelief.com

Updating your status from single to married may bring about some unanticipated changes, including changes relating to your taxes. While wedding planners don’t typically use an IRS checklist, here are a few things to keep in mind when filing your first tax return as a married couple. As with any tax issue, contact your tax professional to help you navigate your own unique situation.

 
Notify the Social Security Administration (SSA)
If one of you has taken on a new name, report the change to the SSA. File Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. It is important that your name and Social Security number match on your tax return. The IRS will match your information with records provided by the SSA and, if the records don’t match, any electronically filed return will be rejected and any paper filed return will have the mismatched individual’s personal exemption cancelled until the error is corrected. Avoid making a name change too close to tax season. While the SSA can process a name change in about two weeks, the delay in data sharing between the SSA and the IRS can make any change near the end of the year problematic. In such situations, it may be advisable to file the tax return using your maiden name and change your name with the SSA after the return has been filed. Form SS-5 is available on the SSAs website at www.ssa.gov, by calling 800-772-1213, or by visiting a local SSA office. A copy of your marriage certificate and driver’s license or passport will be required.

Notify the IRS If You Move
The IRS will automatically update your new address upon filing your next tax return, but any notices the IRS sends in the meantime may not get to you. The U.S. Postal Service does not forward certain types of federal and certified IRS mail. IRS Form 8822, Change of Address, is the official way to update the IRS of your address change. Download Form 8822 from www.irs.gov or order it by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800)829-3676.

Notify the U.S. Postal Service
To ensure your mail, including mail from the IRS, is forwarded to your new address, you’ll need to notify the U.S. Postal Service. Submit a forwarding request online at www.usps.com or visit your local post office. Most post offices will not forward refund checks so be sure the IRS has your correct address. Using electronic direct deposit for refunds can prevent them from being delayed due to address mix-ups.

Notify Your Employer
Report your name and/or address change to your employer(s) to make sure you receive your Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, after the end of the year.
 
Notify Financial Institutions
Financial institutions with which you do business need to be notified to ensure that any Forms 1099 are sent to the proper address. This would include banks and brokerage firms, as well as employer-sponsored retirement plans.

Check Your Withholding
If you both work, keep in mind that you and your spouse’s combined income may move you into a higher tax bracket. The IRS Withholding Calculator, available at www.irs.gov, can help you determine whether you need to give your employer(s) a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. Use the results to fill out and print Form W-4 online and give it to your employer(s).

Select the Right Tax Form
Choose your individual income tax form wisely because it can help save you money. Newlywed taxpayers may find that they now have enough deductions to itemize on their tax returns, rather than taking the standard
deduction. Itemized deductions must be claimed on a Form 1040, not a 1040A or 1040EZ.
 
Choose the Best Filing Status
Your marital status on December 31 determines whether you are considered married for that entire year for tax purposes. The law generally allows married couples to choose to file their federal income tax return either
jointly or separately in any given year. Figuring the tax both ways can determine which filing status will result in the lowest tax. For most married couples, filing jointly will result in a lower tax liability. This is especially
true if there is a significant difference in your incomes. The so-called “marriage penalty” only applies to couples who both earn relatively high salaries.

 

This article contains general information for taxpayers and should not be relied upon as the only source of authority. Taxpayers should seek professional tax advice for more information or contact Advance Tax Relief LLC

Noah Daniels, EA is the President of Advance Tax Relief LLC based in Houston, TX. Noah is very experienced in representing taxpayers before the examinations, collections and appeals divisions of the IRS and various state taxing authorities. Noah has helped hundreds of taxpayers nationwide resolve their tax problems with the IRS saving them hundreds of thousand’s of dollars in back-taxes, penalties and interest and number keeps rising. He also speaks at various local organization educating the public on how to handle their IRS tax problems, small business credits and tax compliance issues.  For speaking engagements or for tax related questions email noah.daniels@advancetaxrelief.com.

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